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Almirola in at Richard Petty Motorsports

While today's signing takes care of the former issue, no new sponsorship has been announced for the #43 although Almirola is expected to have sponsorship from Smithfield Food and the US Air Force.

The announcement of Almirola's appointment is another blow to David Ragan, who is still seeking a replacement drive after himself being ousted from Roush Fenway at the end of 2011. Ragan is now thought to be one of the contenders to take over Almirola's seat in the #88 in the Nationwide Series, although the current favourite for the seat is believed to be Red Bull development driver Cole Whitt.

In other Nationwide series news, it was announced on Tuesday that Kasey Kahne will drive in 15 races in the #38 Turner Motorsports car, with rookie Brad Sweet taking the wheel for the remaining 18 races of the 2012 season.

"Turner Motorsports is a first-class organization with equipment capable of contending for wins week in and week out," a news release quoted Sweet as saying. "I don't think I could be in a better position to take the next step in my racing career."




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Aric Almirola, Steve Wallace, Danica Patrick, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart and  Mike Wallace in a multiple-car wreck on the final lap of the Subway Jalapeno 250 Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, July 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating Chevrolet, lead Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 88 Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 in Loudon, N.H. [Picture Credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola in the JR Motorsports #88 garage during testing at Daytona International Speedway. [Picture credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola climbing out of his car at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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